Boomers and Finance

Part
01
of eight
Part
01

Baby Boomers - Trends in the Gig Economy

In 2017, Baby Boomers accounted for 30 percent of all participants in the American gig economy, and they have been identified as the generation most likely to choose to become freelancers in the United States. While the primary reason Baby Boomers participate in the gig economy is to earn extra income, other reasons frequently cited include remaining active and productive, having flexibility in workplace arrangements, and receiving recognition for their skills. Challenges to participation in the gig economy include age discrimination, difficulties associated with transitioning away from a traditional job, and an overall lack of workplace camaraderie and socialization opportunities. To attract Baby Boomers to the gig economy, there are trends towards targeting highly skilled Baby Boomers on freelancing talent platforms and highlighting the unique employment benefits offered that are most important to them.

Participation in the gig economy

In order to identify trends around Baby Boomers' participation in the gig economy in the United States, my colleagues and I first made two distinctions. First, we determined that "Baby Boomers" are a group of people born between 1946 and 1964, although there is some indication that Baby Boomers also identify themselves as "middle-aged millennials." Second, our findings revealed that terms such as "gig economy," "freelancing," and "independent contracting" are used interchangeably in the literature, so all of these terms will be referenced in this project.

Baby Boomers are a significant component of the American workforce and it is estimated that there will be 13 million Baby Boomers working in the United States in some capacity by 2024. In 2017, Baby Boomers accounted for 30 percent of all participants in the American gig economy, and it is estimated that 25 percent of all gig work in the United States is currently performed by Baby Boomers. It is believed that their high rate participation in the gig economy compared to other generations is the result of two factors. First, it is estimated that 67 percent of American workers consider themselves "tapped out" with respect to productivity and growth, and as a result, these workers are less likely to pursue freelancing. Second, Baby Boomers are uniquely situated to participate in the gig economy because they want to reduce their overall work commitments, but they do not want to exit the workforce entirely. As a result, Baby Boomers have been identified as the generation most likely to choose to participate in the gig economy.

MOTIVATIONS AND ATTITUDES

There are currently two versions of the "American dream" for workers in the United States. The more traditional concept of the American dream includes going to college, owning a home, and retiring from the workforce after a lengthy career. However, a new concept of the American dream has emerged, equating success with opportunities for self-development and pursuing personal passions later in life. This latter version of the American dream has been embraced by Baby Boomers, who have discovered that participating in the gig economy allows them to pursue four key goals.

First, Baby Boomers want to remain active, and they often find early in retirement that they have "too much time on [their] hands." Additionally, having worked throughout their lives, they have obtained a variety of useful skills that are increasingly in demand in the gig economy. Baby Boomers want to continue to be productive and contribute to the workforce, even if they are reducing their overall working hours. Ironically, Baby Boomers have been participating in the informal gig economy for so long that they may not self-identify as freelancers. It has been noted that in many cases, Baby Boomers "are getting gigs on their own reputation and years of business development." While many Baby Boomers capitalize on skills they have already learned, there is also a trend towards Baby Boomers participating in the gig economy as a means to pursue a second or third new career.

Second, Baby Boomers value the flexibility that the gig economy offers. Freelancing provides the opportunity to earn supplemental income while offering Baby Boomers the flexibility to pursue personal interests and hobbies. It has been noted that "for Baby Boomers who want the flexibility to travel, tend to family obligations, or take time off for other reasons as needed, traditional employment may not fit the bill." At least 40 percent of Baby Boomers have indicated that flexibility is a key advantage to participating in the gig economy. Additionally, Baby Boomers have a more comprehensive concept of employment flexibility than many traditional workers. Baby Boomers recognize that by participating in the gig economy, they can control their overall working hours, the type of work they perform, and for whom they choose to work. For many Baby Boomers, this sense of control over their work is more important than job security.

Third, as Baby Boomers increasingly express fears about outliving their retirement savings or living beyond their means, freelance opportunities allow them to meet their financial needs while still pursuing other personal interests. In some cases, they choose to freelance as a means to supplement their savings while they are young and healthy enough to earn extra money. In other cases, they elect to participate in the gig economy after they have been laid off from a job, or when their financial needs unexpectedly change after retirement. Financial considerations remain the most popular reason for Baby Boomers to participate in the gig economy.

Finally, even if they are shifting their long-term goals towards retirement from the workforce, Baby Boomers still desire recognition for their skills. In many cases, they have developed unique skills over the course of their careers that are increasingly in demand in the gig economy. For example, it is not unusual for a corporate executive to retire from a long-term career in business and become a freelance consultant. In fact, Baby Boomers participating in the gig economy are more skilled and better compensated than their younger colleagues, and they are more satisfied with their freelance positions because they are choosing to perform work that they enjoy. In some cases, performing freelance work simply gives Baby Boomers a sense of purpose that they would otherwise lack in retirement.

CHALLENGES IN THE GIG ECONOMY

Despite being well-suited to the type of employment opportunities offered by the gig economy, Baby Boomers face some unique challenges. First, despite being the generation most likely to pursue freelancing, Baby Boomers often experience age discrimination in the gig economy. At least 64 percent of Baby Boomers reported that they have experienced or witnessed age discrimination in the freelancing market. This discrimination takes two forms. Younger candidates who are believed to be willing to commit to a long-term position may be favored over older workers, and there may also be an overall unwillingness among hiring managers to ask young employees to supervise an older colleague. Second, Baby Boomers may experience difficulties transitioning from a traditional 40-hour work week to the gig economy. After a successful career complying with the directives of a supervisor or manager, it may be difficult to set boundaries with clients in order to deliver the work that has been contracted. Finally, Baby Boomers enjoy the opportunities to socialize with colleagues that a traditional workplace affords. Participation as an independent contractor in the gig economy may not provide Baby Boomers with the same workplace camaraderie that they have historically expected and enjoyed.

Targeting baby boomers

As previously discussed, Baby Boomers may have different reasons for participating in the gig economy than younger workers. As a result, there are two key trends to consider when targeting Baby Boomers for freelance employment opportunities. First, while younger generations may view the gig economy as contract work that is solicited exclusively through a freelancing talent platform, Baby Boomers are typically not as active on these platforms as younger workers. However, there is a trend towards developing freelancing platforms to target Baby Boomers specifically. For example, Tengia is a platform that connects small businesses with independent contractors over age 65 with specific skill sets.

Second, Baby Boomers value different employment benefits than younger workers. For example, while company-sponsored health insurance coverage may be critical for younger workers raising families, Baby Boomers are more likely to receive governmental support through programs like Social Security and Medicare. As a result, Baby Boomers will be attracted to opportunities advertised in the gig economy that highlight the aspects of freelancing work that are most important to them. A company interested in contracting with Baby Boomers might highlight flexible workplace arrangements and a supportive workplace culture over a retirement plan.

CONCLUSION

In summary, Baby Boomers accounted for 30 percent of all participants in the American gig economy in 2017. The most common reason that Baby Boomers participate in the gig economy is to earn extra income, although they also enjoy remaining active and productive, having flexibility in workplace arrangements, and receiving recognition for their skills.
Part
02
of eight
Part
02

Baby Boomers - Trends in Smart Home Technologies

Baby boomers are looking to age in place, but they have been slow to adopt smart home technologies that could help them to stay in place longer. They tend to adopt smart home technologies for two reasons. First, they will save a significant amount of money. Second, they are already familiar with the technology or ideas underlying the smart home device. Smart home device purchases for this generation have most frequently been smart thermostats, smart entertainment systems, and smart garage door openers. Below is an in-depth look as to why these trends are likely the most prevalent and why smart home technologies are likely to become more popular with this demographic.

BABY BOOMERS VIEW ON SMART HOME TECHNOLOGY

Millenials are the driving force in smart home innovation and adoption, but 65% of 65 and over Americans told Wakefield Research that they would pay more for a house with smart home technology. Adaption of smart home technology has been slow for this group of people, mainly due to the fact that they have not been using computers their whole entire lives and are not familiar with all the changes that have come about. This fact makes them less accepting of new technologies that could help them to manage their lives as they age. The old adage “if it ain't broke don’t fix it” fits well in this case.
Baby boomers that have more frequent contact with younger generations are more likely to adopt smart technologies in their homes than their peers. When it comes down to it, a smart oven could save countless burnt pots and smart thermostats, thousands of dollars in heating costs and baby boomers are slowly embracing this.

BENEFITS OF SMART HOMES TO BABY BOOMERS

Baby boomers are becoming more and more likely to age as long as possible in their homes. They are leaning toward this for many reasons. Aging in the family home means that boomers can stay in the communities they have grown to love. They can stay where their support networks are the closest, and most importantly they can remain independent. The progression of smart homes is making this desired fate a reality for more and more boomers over time.
Many baby boomers remember the smart home ideations in the 1950s of push button homes where everything would be at the tips of their fingers. It has taken a while, but society is now beginning to deliver on these post-war promises. The popular trends in smart home development that are serving the aging population the best are:
Smart thermostats appear to be the most popular product among baby boomers. Next are smart entertainment systems and smart garage door openers. The trend in popularity appears to adhere to two major themes, one, saving money; two, easily understood adaptation. Savings as far as heating and cooling costs are pretty straightforward. The second reason for the trend, easily understood adaptation has been brought about due to the fact that things like garage door openers have been around for quite some time, so they understand them. Also, smart entertainment combines the use of a television with a computer, two items that baby boomers have already become well acquainted with. Moving them into the realm of other smart home products may take a bit extra work but is not impossible.
Interconnectivity of in-home smart systems is important for the expansion of interest to new devices and products. For example, a baby boomer with smart thermostat control on their phone is more prone to purchasing smart locks if there is an option on their thermostat app to control locks as well. This carries the familiarity of one product over to another that would otherwise not be familiar to this generation at all. As a matter of fact, security dealers have been taking advantage of offering a one size fits all solution for combining the control of smart home technologies and selling security systems at the same time.
It is important for smart tech companies to keep this demographic in mind. Baby boomers only make up 20% of the US population, but their expenditures are above 50% of the younger demographics put together. It is clear that baby boomers would prefer to carry out the last years of their lives in homes and communities familiar to them, and at the very least remain as independent as possible in their living. Smart home adaptation will be very beneficial, it is just a matter of driving the technology into baby boomers’ hands.

concusion

Baby boomers are somewhat slow to adopt smart home technologies. The trend in adaption seems to be focused on saving money and familiarity with the use of the technology. If smart device companies can establish familiarity and benefits of use to baby boomers, they will likely succeed in obtaining them as customers. The most popular smart home devices for baby boomers today are thermostats, entertainment systems, and garage door openers.
Part
03
of eight
Part
03

Baby Boomers - Trends in Fraud

To determine trends in the defrauding of the baby boomer generation, we compared relevant publications and selected the trends most frequently discussed by these news sources or organizations. There is some overlap between baby boomer fraud, seniors/elders fraud, and general fraud trends in 2017. We found that the most common forms of fraud faced by baby boomers include: Medicare supply fraud, IRS fraud, postal or mail fraud, sweepstakes scams, false relatives, counterfeit medication, currency fraud, romance-related fraud, travel scams, pyramid schemes, and anti-aging scams.

Findings

Baby boomers are prime targets for fraud due to their lack of financial and technological knowledge. Many of them lack the knowledge of how social media and technology works. In addition, the current scams are more sophisticated and require a deeper knowledge of technology. It is also common knowledge that many baby boomers have saved up significant amounts of money for retirement, making them prime targets for fraudsters. Baby boomers were also raised to be trusting and polite. Below are some common fraud trends for baby boomers.

IRS Frauds

This involves people calling the seniors and pretending to be from the IRS with demands for payment of owed taxes. Many seniors fall for this fraud, not knowing that the IRS does not ask for such information over the phone. They may also be told that they have some refunds from the IRS and should provide their banking details for the refund to be processed.

Postal or Email scams

This is where people are duped to expect money or checks through the mail. They may be asked to give personal information (like banking details) to facilitate sending the money.

Medicare-covered supplies

Many older people in the US cover their health costs using Medicare or Medicaid, and so fraud schemes using these healthcare programs are rampant. Scammers steal personal information by posing as agents of Medicare. They then bill the government using the stolen information and keep the money. Other scammers may offer to sell prescription drugs at a huge discount.

Sweepstake scams

These are scams where boomers are told they have won cash prizes or exotic vacations. While most people will know outright that this is a scam, many seniors may not. Victims may also be convinced to pay to play, where they have to pay money for their names to be entered in a contest.

Computer remote access

This is done by convincing boomers to allow their hard drives to be remotely accessed. The fraudsters may profess to be working for certain popular technology companies. They may ask for bogus payments for services or ask for money to be transferred to other accounts. They may also ask their victims to provide passwords to their financial accounts.

The grandparent scam

In this fraud, scammers pretend to be family members. They may claim to be a grandchild who urgently needs money for a problem or an emergency.

Counterfeit drugs

Scammers know that many seniors have high health care costs, especially for medicine. They will, therefore, advertise counterfeit drugs at very cheap prices to try to lure them to buy.

Fake government grants

This scam involves promising free money in the form of government grants. The victims are required to pay money before receiving the grant.

Check fraud

Many baby boomers still use checks for payments, unlike millennials. Fraudsters will trick boomers to deposit a check and then wire the money to the scammers. The banks will then inform the victims that the check has bounced.

Romantic cons

This scam works when a fraudster pretends to be romantically attracted to a boomer who may be isolated or lonely. After getting close to their victims, they ask to be sent money for certain emergencies and then disappear after receiving the money.

Investment schemes

In this scam, boomers are presented with suspicious investment opportunities which are designed to steal their money.

Pyramid schemes

These scams target boomers who are mostly bored and lonely, enticing them with an ability to work from home and run their own businesses.

Travel scams

Retirees and boomers are prime targets for travel frauds. These may include free air tickets, fake travel vouchers, and vacation prizes, among other scams.

Bogus anti-aging products

Fraudsters target older Americans with fake anti-aging products by selling them counterfeit products like pills, fake makeup products, fake Botox, and fake beauty products, among others.

Door-to-door solicitors

These are fraudsters who come knocking on seniors' and baby boomers' doors, soliciting for funds for certain charitable organizations. Many elderly people fall for this trick.

Home repair scams

Some fraudsters knock on the doors of seniors, offering home repair services with the goal of looking inside your house and then robbing you at a later date.

Scare tactics

Fraudsters will sometimes use fear to shut down a person's brain logic. These include threats of lawsuits, arrests, lawsuits, and physical harm.

Affinity fraud

This fraud uses trust and familiarity to a group (such as an ethnic group) to sell fraudulent products.

Ways to stop financial scams in the elderly

Some ways to stop these frauds from happening to baby boomers include the following:

-Publicizing common frauds

Make the elderly aware of the common frauds that take place and talking about as families.


Alerting baby boomers that they should at no time reveal their personal financial details to anyone through phone, email or any other form.

-Be on the lookout for red flags

Look out for signs that the person could be broke like having their bills pill up, being unable to maintain their cars, and always borrowing money among other things.

-Avoid isolation and loneliness.

Isolated and lonely seniors are targets of fraudsters.

Conclusion

Fraudsters scam baby boomers by taking advantage of their financial wealth, their lack of tech savviness, their good heart, their trusting nature, declining cognitive health, fear of the government, and the promise of riches among others. To avoid such scams, they should be made aware of the common scams in addition to carefully guarding their financial information.
Part
04
of eight
Part
04

Baby Boomers - Trends in Saving for Retirement

Due to high health care costs, stagnant working wages, and low retirement savings funds, baby boomers are often having to work past the age of retirement. Because of financial hardships, many boomers have stopped saving for retirement altogether, and most baby boomers today either do not have a retirement savings fund or have very little saved.

Economic SATISFACTION RATINGS AND HEALTH CARE COSTS

Many baby boomers are experiencing low satisfaction regarding their economic situations, largely due to poor saving habits and an increase in health care costs. The satisfaction rate has gone down from 79% in 2012 to 43% in 2016. The rising health care costs are proving to make retirement difficult on boomers, as those of retirement age are likely to spend one-third of their income on medical expenses alone.

SAVINGS HABITS AND RETIREMENT FUNDS

Baby boomers are expressing regret in light of their financial difficulties, and many state that they wish they would have started saving earlier on and made better use of retirement plans, such as 401(k)s. In 2013, only 53% of workers, including boomers close to leaving for retirement, reported taking advantage of any kind of retirement plan.

As of today, 45% of baby boomers report having no retirement savings, and 42% of those who do have a retirement savings fund report having saved $10,000 or less, compared to the $1 million that is recommended for retirement. In 2016, only 24% of boomers believe retirement will provide them with enough resources to live a financially stable life, compared to 37% in 2011.

Considering these financial difficulties, many boomers have stopped contributing to their retirement savings funds entirely in order to put more money towards their rent or mortgage. Some boomers have even reported having to withdraw from their 401(k) earlier than expected due to financial hardships or unexpected early retirements due to injuries or illnesses.

In 2017, 82% of boomers have begun making changes in order to save more for retirement. 28% are taking more out of their paychecks to go towards retirement funds, and 17% are saving a larger percentage. Many are also considering pushing their retirement back to later in life, with 26% reporting the desire to work until the age of 70 and 45% reporting that they feel they will have to work part-time past retirement. In 2016, 18.6% of those over the age of 65 were still working, and this number is likely to grow in the future. However, this could prove to be a problem considering the increase in automated jobs and physically demanding jobs.

SOCIAL SECURITY

Though 59% of baby boomers report using Social Security as a major source of income, the Social Security system is not as secure as it once was, with experts stating that the system will likely be exhausted by the year 2030. As nearly 20% of retirees rely solely on Social Security and over 60% obtain at least half of their income from it, this could quickly prove to be a problem for boomers.

Aside from Social Security problems, only 11% of Americans 50 years or older report having a pension to use for retirement, and only 16% feel that they will have any amount of savings to fall back on. Many feel that they will not be able to pay off their mortgage or leave an inheritance for their heirs. In fact, only 46% of baby boomers find importance in leaving money to their heirs, compared to 63% in 2011.

CONCLUSION

In conclusion, nearly 80% of baby boomers are unsatisfied with their economic status. Nearly half of boomers feel that they will have to work at least part-time jobs after retirement in order to maintain financial stability. Many boomers rely largely on Social Security benefits after retirement, though this could prove to be a problem as the Social Security system is slowly losing its security.
Part
05
of eight
Part
05

Baby Boomers - Trends in Debt

While Baby Boomers are piling up more credit card and mortgage debts due to little or no savings; the need to maintain their old lifestyles is plunging them further into debt. Debt increased by about 60% for consumers aged 50-80 years over the past 15 years, and Americans between 65-74 years now old hold about 5 times borrowing obligations compared to what their peers held 2 decades ago. While 66% of Baby Boomers retirees have unpaid credit cards debts, 26% are making car payments, and 7% owe money on holiday expenses or a vacation property; student loan debt skyrocketed by 886% from 2003 to 2015 to become a significant debt category for this generation, and only 23% of retirees report to be debt free.

After extensive research on credible press releases, polls and surveys, blogs and news articles, we found sources that revealed and confirmed worrying debt trends for Baby Boomers. However, in this report, we have restricted our research to trends that confirm that Baby Boomers are increasingly entering their retirement with debts.

The short version is that debt is a significant trend for Baby Boomers and there is no sign of it slowing down anytime soon. This situation has left about 40% of retired Baby Boomers to adjust their spending habits in other to make-up for the differences in funds available to them, and about 69% are not sure they can live until their mid-80s on saved funds, meaning they would be going into retirement with debts. To this end, there is a trend for Baby Boomers attempting to procure financial stability during retirement by seeking tools such as a reverse mortgage in other to access home
equity.

Major baby boomers' debt trends

Trends associated with having a longer live-span

By living longer than previous generations, Baby Boomers retire later and take up unprecedented amounts of debt in the process. A situation believed to produce the trend of an increased 60% debt for consumers aged 50 to 80 years. Also, Baby Boomers reaching retirement now carry 47% higher mortgages and 29% higher auto loans than in 2003. This has produced a trend of Americans between the ages of 65 to 74 years holding more than 5 times borrowing obligations held by the same age group 2 decades ago. With an average credit balance of only $1,600 for Baby Boomers, such a negligible balance are real pointers that this generation will be retiring with debts.

Trends associated with their lifestyle

In the process of trying to maintain their former lifestyles, Baby Boomers have accumulated massive debts. In 2018, trends related to this showed that 66% of retirees have unpaid credit cards debts, 26% are making car payments and 7% owe money on holiday expenses or a vacation property. If the above statistics are not taken into actionable consideration by Baby Boomers, more of this generation would plunge into debt, hence, yielding a trend that may not go away anytime soon. For context, only 23% of Baby Boomers are retiring debt free. A direct result of the above percentage implies that there is a trend of about 77% of Baby Boomers who are condemned to retire with varying types of debts.

Trends associated with their children's Education & recession

Between 2003 and 2015, student loans debt became a major trend amongst Baby Boomers. Unheard of in 2003, this trend skyrocketed to about 886% by 2015 and has since remained a major debt category for Baby Boomers. Asides student loans, auto loans, home equity loans, mortgage loans, and credit cards loans are the major borrowing areas for Baby Boomers; and because this generation is reported to have accumulated more debts than any other generation, this directly implies that they would have loads of debts waiting to be serviced after they have retired.

Furthermore, auto loans and credit cards remain major consumer debt drivers for Baby Boomers with each accounting for about 36% of their total consumer debt, and because 1 in 5 Baby Boomers never recovered from the Great Recession and had to rely on borrowing to meet their daily living expenses, this confirms that if they do not adjust their lifestyle, they will be condemned to retire with debts.

Trends associated with poor saving habits

With 60% of Baby Boomers who are still working reported to be spending too much and not saving enough, their debt trend is not about to go away anytime soon. In fact, only 23% of retirees, of which Baby Boomers make up a good percentage of, are reported to be debt free. To compensate their spending habits, about 40% of Baby Boomers had to adjust their spending habits; while about 69% of this generation is not certain of living until their mid-80s on their saved funds.

As the Baby Boomer generation grows older, medical bills and accumulated credit card debts continue to climb. With some of this generation having children late in life, thereby pushing college tuition costs towards the tail ends of their careers, this has restricted Baby Boomers from saving appropriately, thereby emanating a trend of them retiring with debts.

How debt became a baby boomers' trend

Older generations, which were primarily Baby Boomers, came into the 2008 financial crisis with more income and assets and had stronger credits compared to everyone else. This allowed them to pile up more debts even as credit became scarce, which meant Baby Boomers who didn't have savings or enough income had a line of credit they could readily turn to. By carrying the attitudes of their red lives into retirement, Baby Boomers put themselves lumbering with debt payments for new wheels. Also, retiring later than previous generations, which meant they took up more debt, this behavioral shifts impacted their spending habits, as reported by Visa's recent projection.

However, the combined effects of the Great Recession and increasing cost of higher education meant Baby Boomers had to take up some debt burdens. This trend plunged Baby Boomers deeper in debt. Debt trends are growing for Baby Boomers as they are the only generation who increased their debt load. While this is already disturbing, there is an increased uncertainty of retirement for Baby Boomers. Finally, projected to live longer than any previous generation in American history, this doesn't mean that Baby Boomers are healthier, instead, it leaves them with more time to acquire more debt.

Conclusion

To wrap it up, Baby Boomers are entering retirement years with a backlog of debts. While the Great Recession and increasing cost of education can be blamed for this trend, Baby Boomers can also hold themselves accountable for attempting to maintain their old lifestyle after retiring. With only 23% of Baby Boomers retirees reported to be debt-free and 60% of them who are still working reported to be spending more than they are saving, this debt trend is not about to go away anytime soon.
Part
06
of eight
Part
06

Baby Boomers - Trends in Delaying the Empty Nest

Empty nest in psychology refers to the physical and psychological changes that a family undergoes when the children leave home, leaving behind just the parents. Baby Boomers- the people born between 1946 and 1964- who delay the "empty nest"and live with their adult children are currently less happy and more stressed.

While we have been able to find few sources that directly provide information pertaining to Baby Boomers and trends in their delaying the empty nest, we have used some assumptions and correlations to arrive at the rest of the trends such as the impact of delaying the nest on the divorce rates and retirement of Baby Boomers.

assumption

People from Generation X and the Millennials being the children that are returning home to live with their parents, we have assumed "parents living with adult children" to mean Baby Boomers.

We have also added information from 2015, which may seem outdated, but in keeping with the dictionary meaning of the word "trend" to mean something that is changing or developing today and has implications in the future, the information used adds value to the trends discussed.

trends related to delaying the empty nest

1. empty nest and divorce rate-

A spike in divorce rates have been attributed to empty nests- with the divorce intiated by the woman in most cases. Reasons as observed by psychiatrists are often that the parents have poured all energy into taking care of their children till they are able to fend for themselves, and in the process, have become "strangers to each other".

With 66% of Boomers saying that they would prefer a divorce to an unhappy marriage, and the above data relating divorce directly to empty nests, delaying the empty nest could help reduce divorce rates among the Boomers.

2. boomers' feelINGS about a delayed empty nest

With an increasing number of the Generation X and the Millennials- the children of the Baby Boomers; coming back to stay with them, the way the Boomers feel about it has shown significant changes in the last 4 years.

While statistics from 2015 may seem outdated, it is still useful in providing insights about delayed empty nests and its impact on the Boomers over time. In 2015, findings of a research project undertaken by a Research Professor of Psychology at Clark University show that 67% of the Baby Boomers admitted to feeling closer to their child emotionally, with 66% saying "they have more companionship with their child". Also, 62% said that their adult children helped with household responsibilities. All these findings point to delayed empty nest creating a positive impact on the Boomers.

In 2016, though, Baby Boomers began to feel that the return of their adult children to stay with them was both "a joy and a drag". While some Boomer parents admit to "looking forward to having an empty nest", and then suddenly feeling "awkward in their own home" upon having their children around them again; others love having their adult children live with them, with an increasing number of children "seeing their parents as people they can confide in and show weakness to.

The impact of delayed empty nest on the Baby Boomers has been increasingly negative over the years, with the most recent data indicating that 68% of the Boomers felt more stressed, 53% said they were less happy and another 53% said they had less leisure time after the return of their children. More than three-quarters (76%) of the Boomers said they took on higher expenses too.

This is in contrast to the previous years' data and shows that delayed empty nest is creating an increasingly negative impact on the Baby Boomers.

3. FiNANCIAL IMPlications and delayed retirement

A recent study on the spending and saving habits of US adults showed that 80% of parents who live with their adult children have paid or are paying for at least some of their children's expenses- with parents having paid or paying- 56% for groceries, 40% for health insurance, 21% for rent or housing outside the family home, 39% for the child's phone bill and 34% for car insurance.

With living expenses being the most expensive cost for the Boomers, additional costs include helping their children pay their debts, and also, for their entertainment. If the Boomers also have their grandchildren living with them, buying them toys, clothes, and helping their children pay for the grandchildren's schooling are other additional expenses.

According to a study conducted by NerdWallet, the retirement savings of the Boomers could be $227,000 higher if they chose to "save that money instead of spending it on their childrens' living or schooling expenses". They are also losing $11,011 year to their Millennial children according to a survey by GOBankingRates.

Baby Boomers who live with their children aren't much better off when it comes to having an emergency fund. The GOBankingRates' survey found that 69% of adults ages 55 to 64 have less than $1,000 in a savings account, which means they have no funds set aside for emergencies.

Aside from money lost on their children, the same study reports that the majority of support the Millennials "received in the past year- $8,684- came in the form of unpaid labor", referring to the Baby Boomer parents helping with child care and running the household. Boomer grandparents provided an average of 14.3 hours of primary child care per week and 9.2 hours of back-up care or babysitting.

The above mentioned spending- financially, and the time spent on child care are setbacks, and it means that the Boomers might have to delay their retirement to keep supporting their children.

Conclusion

In all, trends in delaying the empty nest from the perspective of the Baby Boomers indicate that while it can reduce divorce rates and increase emotional bonding with their children, most Boomer parents are less happy and more stressed while living with their adult children. Delaying the empty nest has proved to affect the Boomers negatively when it comes to providing financial support and could mean delayed retirement for them.
Part
07
of eight
Part
07

Baby Boomers - Trends in transferring Wealth

As we enter a period marked by an historic transfer of wealth between Baby Boomer parents and their Millennial generation children in North America, there will be a parallel radical shift away from traditional methods of wealth management advice and decision-making and movement towards new models that involve DIY research, lower fees, 24/7 access, and interactions with advisors on an as-needed basis.

After reviewing pre-existing information published by credible business and news media sources, our research team was successful in identifying several trends to expect over the next 30 years with regard to young adult investors who inherit money from their parents. However, it is important to note that information relating solely to Boomers was largely unavailable, as most research is focusing on the receiving generation, Millennials. Our findings are focused on Boomers, but much of the information is related to the Millennial-end of transferring wealth, receiving wealth. We take a deeper dive into each of those trends below.

wealth management

-Boomers are comfortable turning to wealth management experts for 1-on-1 advice
-Millennials are comfortable doing their own research and will only interact with health management experts when needed
Our findings reveal that Boomer parents (born between 1946 and 1964) mainly rely on financial advisors to provide advice and oversee their investment transactions. The Boomers are most comfortable with this traditional "full-service" approach.

In stark contrast, their children, known as the Millennial generation (born between 1981 and 2000), are more self-reliant. They are very comfortable using technology to search for answers to questions. In fact, one survey's findings revealed that an amazing 84% of Millennials use social media channels to read the opinions of influencers.

Millennial investors are much less likely to use the same financial advisor or wealth management institution that their parents used. As one global management consulting firm suggests "no longer will loyalty keep them in one place." Millennials seek autonomy in their lives, and this includes decision-making over inheritance spending and investments. They prefer to interact with wealth advisors in real time and only as needed.

technology expectations

-Millennials expect 24/7 access to information and will use digital "Robo-Advisor" platforms

Millennials grew up with digital technology that provides worldwide round-the-clock news, entertainment, and communication services, so it should come as no surprise that as young adults they expect 24/7 access to all types of information. While they demand up-to-the-minute real time information, they do not mind receiving it from, essentially, a machine. For this reason studies indicate that "robo-advisors are forecasted to reach $2 Trillion by 2020." In addition to 24/7 access, Millennials favor businesses that offer "value-added services" with low fees and self-service.

MILLANNIAL USE OF INHERITANCE

-Millennials may use inheritance monies to pay down or pay off their student loan debt obligations.

Unlike their parents who may have entered the adult workforce after high school or college largely debt-free, Millennial children facing high tuition fees typically had to borrow money to finance their higher education and are now obligated to pay back their loans. These debts are not insignificant; according to the Financial Times, student loan debt in the USA averages "around $34,000" per borrower.

Not every young adult will receive an inheritance from his or her parents, As reported by CNBC, in a recent survey of Baby Boomer parents, only 40% said they have actual plans in place for a transfer of their wealth to their children.

Of those Millennial young adults who do inherit money from the Baby Boomer parents, some may decide to use that money to pay down their existing student loan debt or to pay it off entirely if possible. This means home buying activities will likely be delayed. As suggested by Ester Bloom of CNBC, it may take twice as long for Millennials to purchase their first home because they have to contend with these large student debts.

investing

-Millennials like to invest in companies that value social responsibility and sustainability

Another finding about the Millennial generation is that they are concerned with environmental and social issues, and this factors into their investment decision-making. Millennials as a group seem to favor investing in companies that are "attuned to environment, social, and governance issues" moreso than their parent's generation did. They like knowing their investments will support "social good."

CONCLUSION

To sum up, our research points to several notable trends among Millennial young adult investors especially when compared to typical investment practices used by their parents. Millennials are less likely to by loyal to any one advisor or wealth management institution and are more likely to conduct their own research. They are more likely to use technology to perform their own research and do not mind using automated digital platforms for investment transactions. Millennials may have to put off home buying in order to use inheritances to pay down or eliminate student loan debts. And finally, Millennials favor investing in companies that value environment, social, and governance issues.
Part
08
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Part
08

Baby Boomers - Trends in the Internet of Things (IoT)

The "baby boomers"- people who were born between 1946 and 1964, with the oldest of them in their late 60s and early 70s, are now embracing the wellness benefits of the Internet of Things (IoT) by way of technology developed to take care of their healthcare needs. Ease of use with intuitive controls available makes the IoT attractive to the baby boomers.

The Internet of Things (IoT) is a network of physical everyday objects that have internet connectivity, enabling them to send and receive data; aimed at increasing the ease of living and reducing human-machine interaction, which is exactly what could be helpful for the baby boomers.

While there exists the concept of virtual assisted living, there have been no developments so far to indicate the possibility of an "electronic relative". Below, you will find a deep dive of our findings.

Internet of things for baby boomers

Tens of millions of baby boomers are beginning to hit their retirement age, creating an increased demand for technologies and overall health and wellness solutions.

With the IoT, it becomes easier to cater to such demands with connected devices including fall-detection sensors, glucose and activity monitors, and interactive food logs to help enable them to live comfortably by themselves. Healthcare technologies and the IoT for healthcare are estimated to grow into a $117 billion industry by 2020.

While housing and communities that enable easy navigation by foot and wheelchair are likely to be chosen by older baby boomers, they are equally likely to seek housing that offers access to services enabled by the evolving IoT. Virtual assisted living is another possibility that can be enabled by IoT with services ranging from pill bottles with reminders to machines automated for wound care or physical therapy.

Technology adoption by boomers

A Pew Research study that shows technology adoption by baby boomers indicates that the IoT will not be a problem for them.

71% of baby boomers use desktop devices daily. With a lot of the younger boomers in their 50s still working and being users of digital workspace technology, baby boomers account for 40% of all technology related spending compared to all other generations in the workforce.

While the above statistics show that boomers are already digital technology users, IoT with its intuitive controls like the use of voice commands and touch controls dominating most systems, will prove to be simple to master.

Current examples of IoT for baby boomers

The current technological developments in the IoT used by the boomers include assistive technology, wearable technology and spaces like senior homes that utilize such devices. Examples of the IoT technology currently in use are-

1. Amazon Echo, commonly referred to as “Alexa,” combines the control of several devices into one easy-to-use interface that can take commands from anyone in the household, such as family members and caregivers. Echo relies on auditory interaction instead of visual input. The voice command interface offered by Echo makes it easier for boomers to use. Echo also features a reminder system that is extremely useful for the boomers.

Retirement communities around the country are also seeing the benefits of these devices, offering them pre-installed in homes.

2. LifeWell Senior Community uses wearable technology that fall under the broader category of the IoT. They include activity trackers and smart lighting solutions. The IoT improves residents' quality of life by both giving them control over their physical environment and generating data that can help caregivers predict care needs.

3. Bask, a tech company, focuses almost exclusively on helping seniors adapt and work with technology so they can stay connected to their families, and safe in their own homes. Another company is working on smart hearing aids that are connected to a smartphone, and automatically recalibrate the hearing aid to the different environments as the wearer moves, which makes it useful for baby boomers.

4. GTX, an Internet of Things (IoT) solutions provider in the personal location, wearable and wandering assistive technology business, unveiled the new Biometric Insoles designed to monitor how people walk and help predict if a senior is prone to falling, which is a major worldwide problem. An estimated 2.8 million elderly people in the U.S. are treated in emergency departments for fall injuries each year. The Biometric Insoles collect movement and activity from special sensors and produce data for gait analysis to provide better insight into fall risk detection and prevention.

Concerns

With increased connectivity between devices, people are worried about their devices getting hacked.
47% of baby boomers have expressed such concerns and said that they would use more IoT devices if they had more confidence that the devices were secure.

Conclusions

To wrap it up, the IoT in the healthcare segment is developing rapidly and being utilized by the baby boomers who are ready to embrace the comfort offered by such services.




Sources
Sources